Friday, January 27, 2012

This I Know For Sure...

It seems the more I plan, the less I'm able to stick to those plans. 

I can't explain it. It's like Murphy's Law - if something can go wrong, it will.  I planned writing time into my day each day this week, yet something came up Monday and yesterday that just threw those plans right out the window. Today's not looking too promising either. Depends on how long the day job turns out to be. Wondering if I'll get more writing accomplished if I stop making plans. :o)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What I'm Reading Wednesday...Or Not

I've been busy writing and rewriting so I'm not reading a book right now.  The only pleasure reading I've done lately is the local newspaper and an old issue of People magazine.



Have you read anything good lately?  I'd love some recommendations.

Katherine

Monday, January 23, 2012

Time


Where does time go?  I usually have so much that I plan to do on any particular day but often run out of time.  The day speeds by and the next thing I know it’s after 9:00pm and I still have things on my “To do” list that haven’t been crossed off.  Do I put too many things on the list or am I just bad at managing time?  Or are the things I must do every day the culprit because they are time consuming items?

I think it’s the latter.  I work during the day so I lose a great deal of time there.  When I get home I try to write at least an hour and a half to two hours on my current work in progress, then it’s time for dinner and all that that entails.  After dinner and clean up, it’s time to take care of laundry (depending on the day) and/or working on promotion for my books, writing blog posts, sending out query letters, and other writing related items.  These all eat up a lot of time which doesn’t leave a lot of room for all the other things on the “To do” list.

One of my goals for 2012 is to work on better managing my time.  I’d love to hear any tips or tricks on how you manage your time.

Friday, January 20, 2012

This I Know For Sure...

Spending time with a pet can make everything seem better.

I know when I have a bad day, spending time with my cat eases my stress, helps me put things into perspective and just plain makes me feel better.  There's nothing like cuddling with a cat and having him or her purr their contentment, telling you they are enjoying the quiet time with you as much as you are enjoying the quiet time with them.

So if you have a pet, be sure to spend quality time with it every day.  It benefits both of you in so many ways.

Katherine

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Please welcome my guest, Rachel Brimble


Today I'm interviewing Romance author Rachel Brimble.  Here's a little bit about her before we start the interview.

Rachel writes a wide variety of romance sub-genres including suspense, historical, comedy, and contemporary.  She lives in England near the Georgian town of Bath with her family. 

Welcome Rachel, I'm glad you could join me.  

  How long have you been writing and what made you decide to pursue a writing career?

I have been writing with the view to publication since 2005 but have made up stories all my life. I have memories as young as five when my teacher would make me stand up in front of the class and ‘tell one of your stories, Rachel.’ :)

I decided to pursue a writing career when my youngest daughter started school full-time and I had a now or never moment. Plus, I wanted to stay home with my children and not have my husband ask what I was going to do next. The idea of going back to an office job pained me!

Do you have a writing routine?  Where do you usually do your writing?

As I am lucky enough to write full time (around the children, house and dog!), I start work at 9am five days a week and don’t stop until 2.30 – after that it is usually kids, house and everything else. I still manage to snatch minutes on the laptop in between though. :)

I work mostly on my sofa with the laptop in the cold months (my black lab fast asleep beside me). As I am in the UK, that is eight out of the twelve. In the summer, I have a log cabin at the bottom of the garden where I can disappear in peace. Bliss! :)

I'm starting my writing day just as you are ending yours.  A cabin at the bottom of the garden! I'm jealous. Why do you write in the genre/sub-genre that you do?  Any plans in the future to write in a different one?

I actually write in three! I write straight contemporary, romantic suspense and Victorian historical. I like alternating between the three with each new story. It keeps the writing fresh for me—and hopefully my readers too!

No plans to venture anywhere else…I think my agent would have a breakdown, lol!

I'm in awe. I've only written historical myself, but plan on branching out to contemporary. Who is your favorite author?  (I know, an unfair question.  I couldn’t name just one myself.)

Hmm… very tough indeed!

I’d say, Nora Roberts – who else? Jodi Picoult for her ideas - fabulous and Jean Fullerton for the heart in her Eastend romances.

But my favorite, favorite read throughout 2011 was The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It blew me away. I can still hear the characters clearly in my head. Wonderful book…

I loved The Help too.  Definitely a great book.  How do you stay motivated when writer’s block hits or your muse won’t cooperate?

I have never suffered and don’t believe I ever will. Please don’t hate me. I MAKE myself work, ALL the time. Any plot problem can be solved, you just need to write through it. Just write.

The best piece of advice I ever had is allowing myself to write a ‘crappy’ first draft. Once you free your mind and just get the words on the page, it flows – the crap can be fixed later. Try it!

That's a great way to look at it.  I know I sometimes get caught up in worrying if that certain word is just right.  Do you have a critique partner or partners?  If so, do you think they help more in terms of moral support or in terms of line editing, brainstorming, etc?

Yes, and only over the last eighteen months which I find ridiculous now! How did I live without them? Lol! Critiques partners, especially the good ones, work with you on a project from start to finish and want to see it published as much as you do.
You can bounce ideas off one another, they’ll see plot holes and mistakes that you wouldn’t, characters that aren’t consistent – the list goes on. The manuscripts that I’ve worked on with my partners are doing the rounds as we speak. I cannot wait to see them contracted so I can write some well-deserved dedications!

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.  What’s the best writing advice you were ever given? 

See above – allow yourself to write a ‘crappy’ first draft!

I'm going to post that on my writing board. Tell us about your current release in a couple of sentences.

I am here to promote The Arrival of Lily Curtis although it isn’t my latest release – it is my latest Victorian release though.

I wrote this book entirely with my heart, it is very special to me. The reviews have been great and best of all, three separate readers have said the book made them cry. Music to a writer’s ears, lol!

Here’s the blurb:

            At the mention of an arranged marriage, Elizabeth Caughley feels her life is over at the age of  three and twenty….so she hatches an escape plan.  She will reinvent herself as a housemaid.  Overnight, Elizabeth becomes Lily…

            Viscount Westrop wants nothing more than his legacy to be passed to his own son one day.  Even though he feels insurmountable pity for the unborn child already, he knows how much pain a broken promise can cause and will do what is right.  But with the arrival of his new housemaid, his plans are thrown into disarray.  Lily is funny, feisty and the most beautiful creature on earth – Andrew is thunderstruck.  But if anyone suspects how much he wants to ravish her and endlessly love her, Andrew’s lineage will be in peril.  And he cannot let that happen…


         Sounds great!  Can you tell us a little about your next project?

My next project is currently with my agent and it is my first romantic suspense for three years – I am so excited! I picture it as a three book series but we’ll see how the sale of this one goes first ;)

It’s set in the fictional town of Templeton Cove on the south coast of England. It’s about two separated friends reunited to find a killer after their mutual childhood friend is found murdered. I love writing it and hope my readers enjoy it too!

It sounds really interesting. Anything else you’d like to share?

Just places where your visitors can find me if they want to chat, follow…buy! (Hint, hint!)

      www.twitter.com/rachelbrimble

Monday, January 16, 2012

Procrastination


My sister has dubbed her son the king of procrastination because he often waits until the last minute to start an assignment and then he has to pull an all nighter to get it completed and emailed to the professor before the appointed time.  I have to admit when I was in college, I also waited to the last minute to start term papers etc, though I never had to pull an all nighter.  I did spend an entire three day Thanksgiving weekend writing three papers though.  I never did that again so in a sense I guess it taught me a lesson.

What it didn’t teach me was how to stop procrastinating.  I can rationalize putting off almost anything.  I can’t do it today, it’s too nice to spend the day doing whatever the chore might be or I can’t do it today, it’s my only day to relax all week, or it’s such a crappy chore, I’ll do it tomorrow.

As much as I love writing, I find myself sometimes procrastinating instead of sitting down and working on my current ms.  I can’t explain why I do it.  But when I do do it, I always tell myself, “oh I’ll write extra pages the rest of the week to make up for today” or “I’ll write over the weekend.”  Well, I rarely write on the weekend.  Between running errands, doing the major household chores, planning menus for the upcoming week and grocery shopping, not to mention trying to spend time with the family, there’s little time for writing on Saturday and Sunday.

I didn’t make any New Year’s Resolutions this year but I do want to try and stop procrastinating or at least do less of it.  One way I hope will help is instead of setting goals in increments of 3 months, 6 months, and for the year, I’m setting monthly goals.  I’m hoping this will help in a couple of ways. 

  1. It really will help me stop procrastinating.
  2. It will keep my writing schedule on track.
  3. I might actually be able to write more than one book this year.

Do you procrastinate?  How are you trying to break the habit?  If not, did you in past?  How did you get past it? 
__________________________________________________________
Rachel Brimble will be my guest on Wednesday, 1/18. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

This I Know For Sure...

Need and want are not the same things.  There are many things I want, things that would make every day life easier, but there really only a few things I need.  I don't mean just material things but am using the word in a general sense.

Sometimes those wants seem like they're needs but if I take an honest look at them, in most cases, I can see they truly are just things I want, not that I need.  I try not to say, "I want" but to say "I'd really like" instead. I think it helps me see the difference between those wants and needs.

Katherine

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Please welcome my guest, Victoria Gray

Today I'm visiting Rebecca Clark's shy writers blog, One Written, Twice Shy but interviewed a wonderful author before I left.

Please welcome Historical Romance author Victoria Gray.
Hi Victoria. I'm so glad you could visit today.  Let's jump right in with the questions and get this interview on the road.  

Please tell us a little about your story, Surrender to Your Touch.

Will Reed is out to settle a brutal score. The disgraced Rebel officer's own men want him hanged, and an enemy has ordered him killed. Intent on clearing his name and evening the score with those who betrayed him, he begins with the woman he once loved—Union spy Kate Sinclair.

For years, Kate used seduction as a lure. She knew better than to let her heart get involved--until she fell in love with Will. Grieving his death, Kate's joy at discovering him alive shatters when she is confronted by a bitter, vengeful man—a man who'll stop at nothing to learn the truth of her betrayal. As danger pursues them, Kate fights to tear down the barriers Will has erected around his heart, but her most powerful weapon may ultimately destroy her—surrender.

Wow! What a great blurb. I'm adding  Surrender to Your Touch to my TBR list right now.  What makes a book a keeper for you?

A book that sweeps me away to another time and place, and immerses me in the emotions of the hero and heroine is a keeper. For example, I’ve read Teresa Medeiros’ Thief of Hearts, so many times, I’ve lost count. It’s a timeless love story that never fails to touch my heart.

I'm the same way with Johanna Lindsey's A Heart So Wild.  Other than re-reading great books, do you have any guilty pleasures?

Chocolate and white wine!

Name one thing readers would be surprised to know about you.

I love football! I’m a total football fanatic…unfortunately, my team is now out of the playoffs (I’m a Steeler gal!), but now I can root for Drew Brees…wow, is he hot!!!

 I'm don't watch much football, but I have to agree with you about Drew Brees. What’s your idea of a romantic evening?
A quiet dinner with my husband, followed by a moonlit walk and time in the hot tub with a glass of wine.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

London ~ I’d never tire of exploring the history to be found in that city.
 
When you’re not writing, which authors are on your “go to” list?

Teresa Medeiros (of course!), Lisa Kleypas, Eliza Knight, Tracey Devlyn, Adrienne Giordano, Connie Brockaway and Amanda Quick...oh, and I can’t forget Charlaine Harris.

Hmm. I haven't heard of Eliza Knight or Adrienne Giordano. I'll have to check them out.  Where can readers find you on the web?

I hope readers will stop by my website and my blog, www.victoriagrayromance.com ; www.victoriagrayromance.blogspot.com.
I’d love for you to friend me on Facebook:
and follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/VictoriaGray115
Where can readers find your book?

Surrender to Your Touch is available from The Wild Rose Press - Print Version and E-Book Version


Barnes and Noble - http://tinyurl.com/7l5e73b

And other great retailers!

Thanks for a great interview, Victoria.   I hope Surrender to Your Touch has amazing sales. :o)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Anti-New Year’s Resolutions

Today I'm chatting Anna Kathryn on her blog about my Anti-New Year's Resolutions.  I hope you'll stop by for a visit.  Here's the link: http://annakathrynlanier.blogspot.com

Katherine

Friday, January 6, 2012

This I Know For Sure...

A new year is a time for new beginnings. It's time to start fresh whether that be a new weight management plan (as we all start in January), a new job, a new writing program full of goals and promise, and to leave behind those who bring you nothing but heartache and to let go of things that bring you nothing but stress.

I hope everyone one has a wonderful and prosperous 2012.

Katherine

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Today I'm visiting Christine Warner on her What To Read Wednesday segment.  Please come and join us at www.Christine-Warner.com.
___________________________________________________________

I'm still reading Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis.  I haven't had much time to read lately.

Katherine

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year


 Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy 2012.